Research Associate Kosali Simon of Indiana University describes the findings of her research, with a multi-disciplinary team, on how households have responded as states have lifted restrictions as part of their re-opening plans. Watch the video here.
Eleven NBER working papers distributed this week offer new evidence on the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and on the effects of public and private actions that have been taken to combat it.
This week’s studies consider the treatment of uncertainty in policy choices (27289), the effect of the pandemic on bank lending and liquidity (27256), the impact of COVID-19 and associated policy responses in developing nations (27282, 27275, 27273), how the COVID-19 crisis affected short- and long-run expectations of stock market investors (27272), the macroeconomic effects of the crisis (27281), the effect of state-mandated lockdown policies on labor markets (27280), the role of ethnic diversity in a community on the practice of social distancing (27277), the relationship between voluntary and state-imposed social distancing in South Korea (27264), and the long-term impact of COVID-19 on retirement security (27261).
More than 125 NBER working papers issued since mid-March have presented new pandemic-related research.
Isolating seniors until a vaccine is available while imposing less-stringent restrictions on the personal mobility of less-vulnerable people could reduce the economic cost of a COVID-19 pandemic by half, relative to a uniform lockdown policy, while also reducing the number of lives lost, according to results of a simulation featured in the new edition of The NBER Digest . Also in this issue of the free, monthly Digest are summaries of studies analyzing drug-price inflation, Federal Reserve reactions to market declines, metered pricing of energy for home heating in China, a Texas program to increase diversity at state universities, and innovation among manufacturers with environmentally conscious consumers.
Medicaid expansion increased total spending in expansion states by between 6 and 9 percent compared to non-expansion states, Jonathan Gruber and Benjamin D. Sommers find. They find no evidence of higher state spending, and estimate states that did not expand Medicaid passed up $43 billion in federal subsidies in 2018.
Responses to an offshoring survey suggest that trade liberalization enables firms to offshore production of low-quality varieties, freeing up domestic resources for the development, production, and marketing of higher-quality varieties, Andrew B. Bernard, Teresa C. Fort, Valerie Smeets, and Frederic Warzynski report.
The NBER Board of Directors appointed 16 Research Associates at its April 2020 meeting. Five were previously Faculty Research Fellows, and one was a former Research Associate who resigned to serve a term on the Board. ( ...more... )
In 2017, researchers randomly selected households that had previously paid a tax penalty for lack of health insurance and sent them an informational letter about how to avoid paying the penalty in the future. The spring issue of the free Bulletin on Health features a study that compares the outcomes of those who received the letters to the outcomes of those who did not. The researchers report that receipt of the letter was associated with increases in health insurance coverage and small decreases in subsequent mortality. Also featured in this issue of the Bulletin on Health are summaries of a study of how Medicare eligibility impacts cancer outcomes, a study of how a diabetes diagnosis affects subsequent health care and health outcomes, and a profile of NBER research associate Adriana Lleras-Muney.
Many low-income and elderly people are reliant on government programs to make ends meet. A mismatch in the timing of when benefits are received and when bills are due can affect these households' ability to pay for necessary goods and services. A study summarized in the current issue of the Bulletin on Retirement and Disability finds that when residents of low-income neighborhoods receive their electricity bill within a day of benefit receipt, they are significantly less likely to make a late payment or have an outstanding balance. Also featured in this issue are a summary of how student loan forgiveness affects disability insurance applications, a study of the effectiveness of state-level sick pay mandates, and a feature on the NBER Retirement and Disability Research Center’s Training Fellowship program.
In rich countries less than 5 percent of the labor force works in agriculture, while in poor countries more than 70 percent is employed there. At the same time, real labor productivity is more than 35 times higher in rich nations. An article in the current edition of the NBER Reporter discusses efforts to explain and reduce the gap. Also in this edition of the free quarterly NBER Reporter, NBER affiliates write about their inquiries into the role of the firm in explaining the structure and evolution of wages and worker risk, and the benefits of rehabilitative incarceration of criminals, and importance of barriers to take-up of government initiatives, and the impact of rare events on financial markets.
New NBER affiliates are appointed through a highly competitive process that begins with a call for nominations in January. Candidates are evaluated based on their research records and their capacity to contribute to the NBER's activities by program directors and steering committees. New affiliates must hold primary academic appointments in North America. On January 1, 2020, there were 1,581 NBER-affiliated researchers based at 180 institutions.